On the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN linked up with entertainer Nick Cannon to discuss his career, romantic relationships, and more.
The San Diego, California native originally got his big break as a teen on the Nickelodeon sketch series “All That.” Shortly thereafter, he inked his own series on the network and embarked on a career that would later cross over into film, radio, and music.
Cannon’s comedic chops and charming demeanor afforded him the opportunity to host numerous shows over the years including NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” Nickelodeon’s “Lip Sync Battle Shorties,” and Fox’s “The Mask Singer.” But his own creation, MTV’s “Wild ‘N Out” is arguably the most impressive hosting gig on his resume. The series, which debuted in 2005, has grown into a billion-dollar brand and recently kicked off its 16th season.
In 2020, the star came under fire for his viral comments on his “Cannon’s Class” podcast, which some believed to be anti-Semitic. ViacomCBS later terminated its working relationship with him, leaving the fate of his MTV show in limbo. After Cannon issued an apology, it was announced in February that the star and the media conglomerate made amends and “Wild ‘N Out” would return.
Now, with last year’s debacle behind him, he’s celebrating brand new milestones. Earlier this year, Cannon welcomed four babies and he recently debuted a daytime talk show on Fox and CW called the “Nick Cannon Show.”
To help give fans a recap, REVOLT compiled a list of nine facts we learned from the Nick Cannon interview. Take a look at them below.
1. On Cancel Culture
Cannon recalled last year’s mishap when he came under fire for his viral comments about Jewish people and at the time, many of his critics wanted to cancel him. However, the star explained to N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN that he believes society should be willing to educate misinformed people instead of instantly writing them off. “Are we here to punish people or are we actually here for real repentance?” He said. “Are you trying to help teach a lesson or make an example of somebody? I think in that mentality, they think teaching somebody a lesson or punishment is the right way. But if you really trying to heal, you try to reconcile.”
2. On First Meeting Pharrell and Clipse
Cannon said that he always aspired to be a rapper and a producer growing up, and in the late ‘90s, Violator executive Chris Lighty became his manager to oversee his music career. Lighty introduced Cannon to Pharrell, one half of the production duo The Neptunes. He said that during the meeting, rappers Pusha T and No Malice of Clipse were also present at the studio. According to Cannon, they were under the impression that they had to ghostwrite bars for him. “They were coming to ghostwrite,” he said. “I [told them] I respect it, but I can get down on my own.”
Cannon also explained that Pharrell suggested creating songs that would appeal to his Nickelodeon audience, but he preferred to do something edgier. “I played a record for Pharrell and I sampled LL [Cool J’s] ‘Big ‘Ole Butt,’” he said. “It was a vibe, but Pharrell was like, ‘That’s a little too hip hop. We got to go for what the kids want.’ And literally, he gave me this beat that didn’t have no kick and no snare. And I was rhyming on it, but at that moment, I was like I see how people’s vision of me would be my entire career. As a kid, I was always trying to run from that Nickelodeon, ‘Fresh Prince’ persona because I wanted to be a producer. I wanted to be Kanye, I wanted to be Pharrell. I wanted to be these guys who had the opportunity to cross genres, but at the same time be so influential in hip hop culture.”
3. On Dating Kim Kardashian
When it comes to his dating history, Cannon has a lengthy list of well-known stars that he used to call “boo.” When reflecting about his relationship with Kim Kardashian, he explained that he had deep feelings for the reality star, but her sex tape with Ray J eventually led to their demise. “People were introduced to who she was through me,” he said. “I believe Ray J knew her before I did. I was really into her. I was vibing. We were on some serious shit. She broke my heart. Then, it started being these rumors going around that it was this tape. When I asked her about it, she denied it. I knew that they messed with each other. I never watched the tape.”
4. On Fathering Numerous Children
In July, Cannon made headlines and sparked conversation on social media for welcoming four kids in seventh months. The new additions upped his total number of offspring to seven. When asked about fathering numerous kids with different women, Cannon shrugged it off as not being a big deal, although he explained that he is now practicing celibacy. “I’ve always been one of those hopeless romantic types,” he said. “Compared to many, I’m low on the totem pole. I told y’all, I’m celibate right now. I’m going to see if I can make it to 2022.”
5. On Working with R. Kelly
Cannon collaborated with R. Kelly for his 2003 song “Gigolo” and the actor also appeared in Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix)” video that same year. N.O.R.E. asked Cannon about his decision to work with the singer, who was recently found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking. The star said working with Kelly at that time was commonplace for people in the industry and he was chasing a hit. “At the time, everybody was working with him,” he said. “[Kelly’s] ’Fiesta (Remix)’ was the most popping shit out at the moment.”
He also recalled seeing Kelly get arrested while filming the “Ignition” video. “That was the day he got arrested for the child porn shit in Miami,” he said. “He came back late that night, and we shot the rest of that video.”
6. On Cam’ron
Cam’ron collaborated with Cannon’s ex-wife, Mariah Carey, in the early 2000s and their close friendship has continuously spurred dating rumors. Though Carey denied that they dated, both Cannon and the “Oh Boy” emcee have taken jabs at each other on social media numerous times over the years. On “Drink Champs,” Cannon set the record straight and explained that he has no beef with the Harlem rapper. “I’ve been trying to get Cam to come on, and I was like, whatever shit you talking, let’s talk that shit on ‘Wild ‘N Out,’” he said. “I still think Cam is scared. Come on Cam! [He’s] a funny nigga, so he would be perfect.”
7. On His New Daytime Talk Show
After conquering many different types of television show formats, Cannon is now trying his hand at daytime TV. He explained to N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN that after filling in for Wendy Williams on her talk show, he was inspired to create his own. “We are going to be on every day after Wendy Williams,” he said. “She was out for a little bit, so I substituted for her — did her the favor. And everybody was like, ‘You should do a talk show.’ So, I put the bread up and got it done. Now it’s the same family. Wendy come on then, I come on.”
8. On Creating a Dr. Sebi Documentary
Cannon recalled having a conversation with Nipsey Hussle prior to his death about Honduran healer Dr. Sebi and his teachings on health and wellness. That conversation inspired him to complete Hussle’s unfinished documentary on Sebi, which Cannon is aspiring to debut in the near future. “I think people are going to get so much from it,” he said. “They are going to learn about the African biomineral process, they are going to learn about taking care of themselves and that the body is a self-healing organism, and we are going to do it at a prestigious level.”
9. On “Wild ‘N Out”
“Wild ‘N Out” returned for its 16th season in August, months after Cannon was fired from ViacomCBS for his controversial comments about Jewish people. When asked by N.O.R.E. about his feelings about the long-standing show, the star said things are bittersweet. “It’s one of those things where I was ready to walk away from because I felt like so many had walked away from me and I didn’t need it anymore,” he said. “I’ve been blessed to have ownership of the brand. But then, to see even in that decision, a lot of people say I forgot about the thousands of people I feed off this show. It’s a billion-dollar brand.”